Frequently Asked Questions

This document aims to provide clarity on the proposals and public consultation to help you provide feedback. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for in this document, you can contact the team on [email protected]

We are also holding several in person drop-in events during the consultation period. During the events, members of the project team will be available to answer your questions and provide you with more information about the proposed schemes.


Why are transport improvements needed in Tees Valley?

Delivering an integrated transport network is critical for the success and well-being of Tees Valley ensuring that everyone is connected to a wide range of opportunities across the area. The Tees Valley 2020 – 2030 Strategic Transport Plan sets out a vision to invest and develop the transport system, to deliver the following outcomes:

  • Interconnecting the transport network to key places like town centres, railway stations, business, shopping, and leisure.
  • Ensure that everyone has high quality transport choices
  • Reliable transport for people without access to vehicles (about 25% of Tees Valley residents do not have access to a vehicle)
  • Unlocking key employment and housing sites
  • Delivering social equality
  • Reducing carbon emissions; and
  • Protecting the environment.

Why are you spending money on transport when there are more important priorities?

TVCA has secured the funding for these improvements from the Department for Transport (DfT), and it must be spent on improving the transport infrastructure.

How much are these improvements going to cost and how are they funded?

Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) have secured funding from several sources. In April 2023, Tees Valley Combined Authority were awarded £310 million from the DfT’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS). Tees Valley have also been awarded £17.8 million funding from the government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF).

The Levelling Up (LUF) funding will be used to deliver active travel infrastructure improvements (cycling and walking, wheeling). Specifically, the funding will support the delivery of 9 schemes identified in the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).

Funding has also been secured from the government’s Active Travel Fund (ATF). The ATF funding is aimed at supporting local transport authorities with walking and cycling facilities.

The government recently announced that TVCA have been allocated £978 million for further future investment in our transport infrastructure. We’ve agreed a programme of projects that will help to deliver the integrated transport network that we want to see, and we will now start to develop in more detail.

Why is investment focused on these specific routes and areas? What about everywhere else in Tees Valley?

The current consultations cover schemes within Tees Valley which have been allocated funding. These schemes were prioritised because analysis suggested that these were the areas where improvements would deliver the most benefits from the available investment.

Over the longer term, the case for investment in other areas will be considered as part of the wider ambitions to improve transport across Tees Valley.

There may also be additional transport Tees Valley through other funding sources.

Why isn’t the funding being used for highway maintenance such as fixing potholes?

TVCA have been awarded funding to deliver active and sustainable travel infrastructure improvements for people walking, wheeling, cycling, and using the bus. The council cannot therefore use it for other purposes. Funding to repair potholes and maintain roads is a separate fund.

However, where possible we will explore opportunities to coordinate activities and deliver improvements simultaneously, saving time, money and maximising efficiency. For example, where we resurfacing roads and realigning kerbs as part of the proposed improvements. This may mean that potholes and other road maintenance issues are resolved while the proposed schemes are under construction.

Why are some of the projects at different stages of development/levels of detail?

Some projects have been in development longer than others meaning the plans are more advanced. For example, they may have been part of the Tees Valley Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) which already set out a number of active travel projects across Tees Valley. Others have had to be designed quickly so they can be delivered within specific time periods to secure funding.

How can I have my say?

The easiest way to have your say is to go to our website, look at the consultation material and complete the feedback survey. Paper copies can be provided on request. You can also submit questions, by email to: [email protected], post a response to:  Transport Consultations, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Teesside Airport Business Suite, Teesside International Airport, Darlington DL2 1NJ or attend an in-person drop in event.



How will I know you have considered my feedback?

We will not be able to respond directly to everyone who submits feedback, but we will carefully consider all the feedback received and ensure the information is considered by design teams. A consultation summary report will be made available after all feedback has been analysed and considered.

What are the next steps?

We will gather and review all feedback received during this public engagement both through feedback questionnaires and public drop in events. Your views are important to us, and this is an opportunity to provide comments on the current proposed schemes to help shape the detailed design stage. We will document the process and publish the results in a consultation report.

More detailed designs will be produced before any construction takes place and we will keep you informed.

When will the projects be constructed?

The planned investments are the beginning of a long-term approach to delivering a step-change in local cycling and walking network as well as reliable bus services and complementing improvements to the rail network ensuring that Tees Valley is a well-connected region. We are starting to invest in priorities within the plan now, but it will take several years to deliver fully, given the level of investment required. We will provide more information on which projects are progressing, and when they may be built, as the plans develop, and it becomes clearer.

How will you minimise disruption while the improvements are being constructed?

We will make every effort to minimise disruption during the construction period. Where temporary road closures and diversions are required, advanced warning will be given to ensure alternative routes are clearly signposted and access to properties and businesses maintained. We will also try to schedule construction activities in a way that minimises impact on peak traffic times and community events where possible.

A construction management plan will be developed once the designs have progressed to detailed design and a contractor is in place to build the scheme. Prior to any construction works taking place, the impact of the works on local people, businesses, road users and the environment will be assessed, and mitigation measures designed.


What is Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) doing to improve bus services?

TVCA have formed an Enhanced Partnership, which enables us to work collaboratively with local bus operators, the five local authorities and other key stakeholders to deliver benefits to passengers using services across Tees Valley.

Most bus services in Tees Valley are provided on a commercial basis, meaning they are not publicly subsidised (a subsidy is support given by a public authority to fill the gap between the costs of running the service and the revenue earned from ticket sales to ensure that it continues to operate). However, there are some services funded by TVCA that are in place to ensure connectivity across the network. Within our Enhanced Partnership, TVCA and local councils are working collaboratively with all local bus operators, which enables us to influence and improve the local bus network.

Working with the bus operators we can invest in improvements that are focused on reducing bus delay and improving reliability which should help buses on these routes run more efficiently, provide a more reliable service to existing bus users, and make the services more attractive to people who do not use the bus.

What is Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) doing to reduce bus fares?

As most bus services are provided on a commercial basis this leaves the combined authority (TVCA) and local councils with limited influence over bus fares. However, the improvements are focused on reducing bus delay and improving reliability which should help buses on these routes run more efficiently and keep costs down.

The funding provided by central government is capital funding which can only be spent on infrastructure investment. It is not possible to redirect the funding for day-to-day revenue spending to subsidise bus fares.

As part of our Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) we are looking at targeted fares offers.

Why would people choose to travel by bus rather than by car?

Almost a quarter of households in Tees Valley do not have access to a car. It is important that we provide a variety of transport options for all people including options for people who cannot, or do not want to, use a car. Improvements in bus frequency, speed, and reliability in other parts of the UK have also been shown to encourage car users to switch to the bus.  By empowering more people to use the bus helps reduce traffic and makes it easier for goods and services to move smoothly. This shift can also reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.

What can be done to make buses more reliable?

The number one cause of poor service reliability is congestion. Where buses benefit from bus lanes and other priority measures, service reliability improves significantly. We have identified some key places across Tees Valley where bus priority may improve reliability.

Buses are responsible for high levels of pollution – why should we use them instead of a car?

Modern buses are efficient and less polluting than those they replace. Each bus can take up to 80 cars off the road further reducing pollution levels and improving air quality. Many of the new buses benefit from hybrid technology (some operating on 100% electric power at certain speeds) and moving forwards we hope to see more 100% electric vehicles operating across Tees Valley.

As part of our Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIP) we are looking to support bus operators to move to electric vehicle fleets.

Who do I contact if I am not satisfied with my bus service?

The contact details for each of the operators working in Tees Valley are listed via the below link.


Why are you investing in cycling and walking infrastructure?

We need to make it easier for people to walk, wheel and cycle particularly for shorter journeys and to connect into the wider transport system. In the 2019 Tees Valley Strategic Transport Plan consultation, 70% of respondents regularly walked as part of their journey and 27% regularly cycled. The feedback showed strong support for creating more cycling and walking routes. 80% of respondents told us that safe cycling and walking routes are a high or very high priority for development and maintenance.

Cycling offers a low carbon, healthy way to get to work, education and employment,especially for shorter journeys.  We want to ensure all road users can share the road space safely, for children and parents/carers to walk to school safely and for all of us to be healthier and reduce carbon emissions.

How do we ensure our cycle infrastructure meet UK standards?

Active Travel England (ATE) is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Transport. Active Travel England were established in August 2022 to meet the vision set out in UK Government’s Gear Change, for half of short journeys in towns and cities to be walked, wheeled or cycled by 2030.

We work closely with ATE to ensure our plans meet standards set out in Gear Change and the Local Transport Note (LTN) 1/20.

What is LTN 1/20?

Local Transport Note (LTN) 1/20 is the definitive national standard for cycling infrastructure design in the UK and was published in conjunction with Gear Change which set out the UK Government position on how to increase walking and cycling.   All new cycling infrastructure, such as cycle lanes and parking, is guided by LTN 1/20 guidance.

Why are you proposing shared use space rather than segregated cycle lanes?

We need to make best use of the space available. In some locations we can provide segregated cycle lanes. In others there is limited space available, and a shared use path is a better and safer option than not having any cycle lanes, where cyclists are forced to share the road with vehicles.

What is the difference?  A shared use, mixed-use, or multi-use path is a path designed to accommodate the movement of pedestrians and cyclists on one path.   A segregated path puts some form of division in place to separate pedestrians from cyclists, and cyclists from road traffic.


What is being done to improve the condition of roads/potholes in Tees Valley?

TVCA and the five local authorities are continuing to invest in a programme of resurfacing and footway maintenance, ensuring that residents and visitors benefit from convenient and reliable journeys on the highway network.  This work is in accordance with our Highways Infrastructure Asset Management Plan.

Funding to repair potholes and maintain roads is a separate fund.

What is being done to reduce congestion for car users?

Funding has been secured to use technology to improve traffic flow for all vehicles with £3.5m already invested in Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) to improve congestion and improve efficiency on our roads.  UTMC is only one part of a £74 m investment in digital and smart approaches to regional traffic management being undertaken. Read more about this project here.

As more people make journeys by walking, wheeling, cycling, and bus this will free up more capacity on roads and reduce congestion.





What investment is being made in Tees Valley Rail Stations?

Rail stations across Tees Valley are being invested in, please look at our investment pages to find out more about what transformative improvements are being made to rail stations across Tees Valley.




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